Back in 2010, we shifted the focus of our sustainability reporting and stopped producing hardcopy reports.
Putting digital at the heart of our approach
This was because there were some pretty practical things that seemed wrong with this approach: we didn’t know who was reading it; it was out of date once printed; and we simply weren’t making the most of what we're best at - digital entertainment. By changing our mind-set about the purpose of reporting, we felt we could unlock a bigger opportunity to engage people in the story behind what we’re doing to become a more responsible and sustainable business.
Empowering employees to tell our story
Our approach to reporting includes sharing lots of short films, stories and interviews all told by Virgin Media people. Think of them as snapshots into what we’re doing to become a more sustainable business. But rather than taking the usual top-down, corporate approach, we wanted to do things a little differently. So we gave our employees hand-held cameras and got them to film stuff for us to show ‘behind the scenes’ of our sustainability story.
So far, over 600 staff and suppliers have helped us make our sustainability films. For amusement, we’ve put together all the “outtakes” from our first film, made back in 2011, here.
Evolving our reporting in 2014
We’re always looking for ways to do things better. This year, we’ve updated our approach again to provide an even better, more accessible and informative experience on our website. With the help of some more Virgin Media staff, we’ve simplified the headlines of our sustainability story and used interactive video and animation to help bring the story to life.
You can also join in the conversation about how we’re doing on our blog, where you’ll find news and views from people at Virgin Media, as well as outside experts. It’s all about having an ongoing, open and honest conversation about how we’re becoming a more sustainable business. And it’s open to our staff, suppliers, partners – and you!
If you’re looking for more data about our performance in operational areas such as carbon emissions, waste and recycling or even the diversity of our workforce, you’ll find this in the content we publish about our performance against our key targets. See how we did.
Verification and assurance
Our approach to identifying our biggest sustainability issues is aligned with the approach taken by Liberty Global. We know that the best way to make sure we’re on the right track when it comes to sustainability – from how we develop the services of the future, to how we manage our waste today – is to ask our customers, staff, top thinkers in sustainability and pioneers in digital technology, as well as MPs, journalists and bloggers. This kind of stakeholder engagement is an important part of any company’s sustainability story.
When it comes to reporting our performance on key sustainability measures, we follow the same reporting principles that are set out in the Global Reporting Initiative’s Framework, such as stakeholder inclusiveness, timeliness and clarity. We also follow strictly controlled processes for data collection and all our quantitative data provided is audited by Liberty Global. We have chosen a self-verification model for assuring the claims made across our sustainability website. As well as building expertise within our teams, we’ve been working with third parties like Credit360 to improve the quality of our data. And for extra piece of mind, our legal team makes an assessment of all the claims we make about our sustainability story.
Sustainability reporting boundary
All data in this report covers the period January 1 to December 31, 2013 unless otherwise stated. Virgin Media’s environmental data follows the Greenhouse Gas Protocol operational control approach. This means we include operations where we have the full authority to introduce and implement operating policies.
Other reporting activity
Now that we’re part of Liberty Global, all of our key environmental and social data, along with case studies are included in the annual Liberty Global Corporate Responsibility Report. In addition, we’ve also been reporting our environmental impacts and our actions to reduce them to CDP since 2008.
We think we’re onto something with our approach but we’d really like to hear what you think. Please get in touch using the feedback form on this website, post a comment on our blog, on Twitter (don’t forget to include #vmsust), or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.